Sunday, January 30, 2011

Woodlands Waterfront in Singapore, best place to recuperate after a flu

Sorry for missing in action for quite some time. I have been down with a nasty bout of flu for the past 2 weeks. Horrendous experience - -" Maybe I am getting old, so my immune system is weakening. Yikes! I was coughing non-stop thru the night, sore throat, dry throat, itchy throat and running nose. My family even suspected I contracted H1N1. To reassure them, I wore a mask. 

After lots of anti-biotics, cough syrup, lozenges and my Mum's really awful-tasting Chinese herbal medicine, I am back on my feet again. Hell Yeah! ^^

After cooping up in my house for 10 days (yup, the doc gave me 10 days MC!!!!!! 0_o"), I just wanna get some fresh air. So, I decided to visit the Woodlands Waterfront which is within walking distance from my block. The stroll worked wonders, even better than anti-biotics I dare say. Heeeee..... 

Here comes the photo-sharing. Please pardon my amateurish photography skills :P I took the pictures with my Sony-Ericsson X10 mini bcos I dun wanna stroll with a camera. 

The Causeway Checkpoint building. Looks pretty modern.

The Causeway

Yay! Woodlands Waterfront. I dun know why. But I feel excited seeing the name of my housing estate on a wall. I am a weirdo. Muahahahah!

Lots of people catching crabs along the shoreline. There is actually a small crab on the pavement. Can you spot it? Lol. By the way, I had a chat wif one of the Malay uncles. I asked him why are there so many Malays catching crabs in Singapore? He told me that his grandpa depended on fishing for a living and this skill is passed down thru the generations, especially in the Malay community. Hmmm, interesting. This proves that Singapore was really used to be a fishing village before Sir Stamford Raffles set foot on this island.

Directions. Everyone loves directions.

Uh oh...... someone stole/ took used the life buoy to save someone else from drowning but nobody replaced it. Should I put this on Stomp? Heh! Just kidding. 

This is a really beautiful path. The whole place reminds me of the various scenes in the amazing movie, "Lovely Bones". If you have not seen the movie yet, make sure you check it out.

A majestic red ship. I think it is doing some refueling/resupply thingy.

The jetty with more fishing folks on it.

 Wild monkeys! The young monkeys are really cute. But remember not to feed them bcos they will grow dependent on humans and associate humans with food.

Plenty of parking space for those who drive. You can bring your family here for a picnic. ^^

The playground. Dangerous-looking though. I think this was already posted in Stomp. The ropes might not support the weight of the children. If I am a child, I will definitely try it bcos I am a risk-taker. Muahahahhaha.

The underground toilets. Pretty clean too. I climbed up the steps on the right to get a better view of the entire park.

This is the photo I took while standing right on top of the toilets. Beautiful, just beautiful :)

After the stroll, I was famished. I only had porridge and soup for the past 10 days. In the end, I gorged myself on some Ebi prawns and Crayfish ramen at Ajisen, Causeway Point. 
Nom! Nom! Nom! 
I had the set meal, which is quite value for money. About $16 with a side dish and drink included.

The Woodlands Waterfront is really a nice place for fishing, crab-catching, stroll and dare I say, dating. Please check it out especially if you live in the Northern part of Singapore. ^^

I hope you guys enjoyed my photos. I am just relieved to recover just in time for the Chinese Lunar New Year. I will also be updating my dividends portfolio for January. 

Please share your opinions by commenting below. Thanks!

Peace out,
Dividends Warrior

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Guide to Picking Singapore REITs

Land is scarce in Singapore as it is a tiny island nation. Therefore, property rentals are generally and historically high. The Singapore REIT market can be categorised into 5 main sectors - retail, office/commercial, industrial/logistics and healthcare. 

Benefits of investing in REITs:
- REITs allow investors be like "property owners" without the normal hassles of renovation, maintenance, repairs, security, collecting rental and dealing with difficult tenants. It is a more convenient way of property investment for small investors.

- REITs provides regular cash flow for investors. Most REITs in Singapore distribute dividends every quarter.

- REITs provides attractive annual yields (5% - 9%) compared to the embarrassingly-low interest rates of banks. 

However, not all REITs are of good, or even decent quality. Therefore, investors must be really selective. Otherwise, you might end up like the early investors of Saizen REIT during the sub-prime crisis in 2008/2009. I do not want to bore you with the depressing details. Basically, Saizen REIT's stock price plunged and it stopped distribution for a long period of time T T. It is recovering slowly now.

"The Saizen REIT saga" < Click Click 

REITs-picking Guide:
In order to help myself make the right decision while selecting REITs, I have a guide to picking REITs which I want to share with you all. Of course, feel free to make adjustments according to your personal preference ^^

1. Gearing of 30% - 35%

2. Yield 5% - 8%

3. Increasing DPU over the years

4. Stock price below or near NAV 

5. Type (retail, office/commercial, industrial/logistics and healthcare)

6. Geographical exposure (China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia etc.)

Alright, let's put the REITs in my dividends portfolio to the test.

Suntec REIT:

1. Normal Gearing of 33% (excellent)
2. Yield of 6% (moderate)
3. Decreasing DPU (poor)
4. Stock price below NAV (excellent)
5. Type: Retail and Commercial (excellent)
6. Geographical exposure: Singapore (excellent)
Overall verdict: Moderate REIT

CapitalMall Trust:

1. High Gearing of 37% (poor)
2. Low Yield of 5% (moderate)
3. Stable DPU (moderate)
4. Stock price above NAV (poor)
5. Type: Retail and Commercial (excellent)
6. Geographical exposure: Singapore (excellent)

Overall verdict: Moderate REIT


1. Low Gearing of 23% (excellent)
2. High Yield of 8% (excellent)
3. Stable DPU (moderate)
4. Stock price above NAV (poor)
5. Type: Logistics (excellent)
6. Geographical exposure: Singapore (excellent)
Overall verdict: Excellent REIT

First REIT:

1. Low Gearing of 17% (excellent)
2. High Yield of 8% (excellent)
3. Stable DPU (moderate)
4. Stock price same as NAV (moderate)
5. Type: Healthcare (excellent)
6. Geographical exposure: Singapore and Indonesia (moderate)
Overall verdict: Excellent REIT

Parkway Life REIT:

1. Normal Gearing of 35% (excellent)
2. Low Yield of 5% (moderate)
3. Increasing DPU (excellent)
4. Stock price above NAV (poor)
5. Type: Healthcare (excellent)
6. Geographical exposure: Singapore and Japan (excellent)
Overall verdict: Excellent REIT

There is actually one more criterion when choosing a REIT - strong backing from parent company. However, I did not include this in my guide because this can be rather subjective.

So, what are your ways of choosing a REIT as investment? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions by commenting below. ^^

Peace Out
Dividends Warrior

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Guide to Picking Dividend Stocks

In my previous post, I talked about the the power of dividend stocks. Today, I shall share my very own guide to picking dividend stocks. Of course, some investors are more stringent while others are more lax. So, feel free to make adjustments according to your personal risk appetite and investment style.

A guide to picking dividend stocks:

1. Dividend Yield of at least 6% (to beat the rising inflation in Singapore T T )

2. P/E ratio of roughly between 13 to 17 for Singapore firms

3. Consistent, stable and regular distribution over the last 10 years

4. Recurring revenue streams in a defensive economic sector

5. Stock Price is not volatile 

6. Capable, prudent and forward-looking corporate management without over-leveraging 

Alright. Now, let's put the so-called blue chips in my "Singapore-flavoured" dividends portfolio to the test. (I will deal with the REITs at a later date because they are a whole new ball game altogether). I will grade each criterion using "Excellent", "Moderate" and "Poor", just like a teacher grading pupils in school ^^ 

Criterion 6 will not be included in the grading because it is pretty subjective for investors.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH)

1. Dividends Yield FY2010: 6% - 7% (excellent)
2. P/E ratio: 13 - 14 (excellent)
3. Distribution over the last 18 years, even during the 2008 financial crisis (excellent)
4. Recurring revenue streams from print media and property rental (excellent)
5. Stock price will usually drop after XD and during market corrections (moderate)
Overall Verdict: Excellent income stock ^^


1. Dividend Yield FY2010: 7% - 9% (excellent)
2. P/E ratio: 13 - 14 (excellent)
3. Distribution over the last 5 years, even during the 2008 financial crisis (moderate)
4. Recurring revenue streams from voice, data, broadband and cable services (excellent)
5. Stock price will usually drop after XD and during market corrections (moderate)
Overall Verdict: Excellent income stock ^^


1. Dividend Yield FY2010: 5% (moderate)
2. P/E ratio: 13 (excellent)
3. Distribution over the last 7 years, even during the 2008 financial crisis (moderate)
4. Recurring revenue stream from postal and package delivery service (moderate)
5. Stock price does not fluctuate much even during market corrections (excellent)
Overall verdict: Moderate income stock

Okay. So, that's my overall verdict on SPH, Starhub and SingPost as income stocks. I referred to them affectionately as my "Triple-S" stocks because their names start with the letter "S". I know, I know, we are not supposed to get emotionally-attached to our stocks, but I just could not resist these three companies. :p

So, do you have other ways of choosing dividend stocks? Please share your ideas and opinions by commenting below. ^^

Peace out,
Dividends Warrior

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Power of Stock Dividends

Dividend-investing used to be the norm between the 1930s and 1960s. Wives were outliving their husbands. So, how did the wives survive after their husbands were gone? You guessed it. These widows invested in stocks that paid dividends. Back then, it was such a common investment strategy that people started calling it the "Widow's Portfolio".  Not only the widows did it, insurance companies, investment banks and funds started doing it too.

However, the huge multi-year bull run in the 1990s changed all that. Dividends investing fell out of fashion. It was considered boring, dull and less profitable. A new generation of greedy investors and traders wanted to earn a quick buck in the short term. Everyone thought the era of income-investing was over. Everyone was going for capital gains.

Fast-forward to the present day. In the aftermath of the 2008 subprime crisis, more savvy investors (especially the Gen-Yers) are flocking back to dividends-paying stocks and for good reasons too.

1. Offers regular cash flow on top of capital appreciation

2. Offers support for share price during a market downturn. 

3. Less volatile price swings

4. A sign of healthy balance sheet and sustainable business model

5. Compounding effect of re-invested dividends

Now, I know all of you are thinking. There are countless stocks offering dividends in the market. Does it mean any stocks that offer dividends are good stocks? Of course not! Just like buying anything, when it comes to dividend-investing, we must be selective too. We want to buy a goose that lay golden eggs. 

I shall share a few criteria for selecting income stocks in my next post.

Do you think dividend investing is a good strategy? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Peace Out,
Dividends Warrior

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Financial Resolutions for 2011

It is the time of the year again to make new financial resolutions.  But before I start, this is my current financial health at the end of 2010.

1. Achieve almost $200/month of dividends

2. Expenditure of $1, 000/month

3. Cash savings of $6, 000

I try to make my resolutions as "SMART" as possible, meaning "Specific", "Achievable", "Measurable", "Relevant" and "Timed". The following are my new Financial Resolutions for 2011.

1. Achieve $350/mth of dividends by Dec 2011 -----> Increase Income
This year, I aim to increase my passive income flow to $350 per month. Base on my current dividends portfolio, I did some calculations. The projected total dividends I will be receiving (if I dun alter my portfolio much) is roughly $4, 200. At the same time, I hope to maintain the overall yield of my dividends portfolio at around 7%. This will enable me to beat the average inflation rate of 3% - 4% in Singapore. 

2. Maintain Expenditure at $1, 300/mth -----> Maintain Spending
In 2010, I spend $1,300 per month on average. This is a breakdown of my "fixed" expenditure per month.

  • Allowance to parents: $600
  • Handphone bill: $20
  • Broadband (Shared wif my bro): $27
  • Utility bill (Shared wif my bro): $50
  • Groceries (Shared wif my bro): $50
  • Transport: $50
  • Food: $50 
  • Entertainment: $200
  • Insurance: $300

After looking through my expenditure, I really could not reduce my spending significantly on any components except "Entertainment". However, I feel $200 per month on entertainment is reasonable. Movies, good food and chilling out wif friends over the weekends is important to me. So, my spending should remain at the same level. 

3. Accumulate $36, 000 cash savings by Dec 2011 -----> Increase Savings
My monthly take-home pay is about $3,500. After deducting my expenditure, I will have $2,200 left for saving per month. This will add up to about $36,000 at the end of 2011.

That's all for my financial resolutions 2011.

Short and Sweet ^^

So, wads your financial resolutions in the year 2011? Feel free to share by commenting below ^^

Peace Out,
Dividends Warrior